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Big Sky Biggie

August 26, 2024

participant after riding the big sky biggie

In its 5th year, the Big Sky Biggie is fast becoming a Rockies classic.  Last year the event attracted a record 408 mountain bikers to ride in 15-, 30- and 60-mile courses that traverse all over Big Sky, from Town Center to the slopes of Big Sky Resort.  Strambecco rates the event as one of the best MTB events in the Rockies. Big Sky Biggie was founded to build community and expand southwest Montana mountain bike trails and events and all event proceeds are evenly split between two organizations, Big Sky Community Organization and Big Sky Chapter of the Southwest Montana Mountain Biking Association.  The event draws everyone from the pro or the semi-pro to the young athlete to the beginner who wants a challenge or something to train.

Event & Course Info

This year’s 60-mile Biggie course is similar to the 2022 long course, with some significant changes.  They added new sections with more singletrack in the Spanish Peaks neighborhood.  The new Poop Chute single-track trail is included, and for the first time in this course, you’ll get to descend a portion of Otter Slide.  On top of all that, you’ll be riding the Yellow Mule loop in the opposite direction – Up First Yellow Mule and Down Second Yellow Mule.  This is how most of the Big Sky locals ride this loop. The 2023 course still includes Mountain to Meadow, Fish Camp, First, and Second Yellow Mule loop in a clockwise direction (with Bacon+Whiskey station atop Buck ridge), and the same finish into town on Ralph’s -> Uplands -> Hummocks.  The total route is actually 58 miles with 8,600+ feet of elevation gain on over 85% singletrack.

The 30-mile Big Sky Biggie course is similar to the 2022 course but with one significant update.   The organizer has added an entirely new section in the Spanish Peaks neighborhood, avoiding the pavement climb to Fish Camp.   Our 2023 course still includes Mountain to Meadow, Fish Camp, and the same finish into town via First Yellow Mule -> Ralph’s -> Uplands -> Hummocks.  The course is actually 33 miles with 4,400 feet of climbing on over 85% singletrack.

The 15-mile course is perfect for beginners and juniors.  This 15-mile loop features all the best town trails.   Almost all of the climbing on this course will be done at the beginning on pavement, although one sneaky switchback section on Ralph’s Pass will raise your heart rate.

Keep in mind, the Big Sky Biggie courses are located in grizzly bear territory, so participants are highly advised to carry bear spray. Black and grizzly bears are frequently seen across all race routes, regardless of distance. Mountain bikers have a heightened risk of encountering bears due to their swift and quiet movement. For safety, bikers are recommended to carry bear spray in a holster or mount on themselves. Organizers have partnered with a local company, HEY BEAR, to allow participants to rent bear spray just for the event, particularly for those coming from out of town that might not be used to carrying it riding. 

A $3,600 cash purse is up for grabs for the 60 mile course for the top three male and female finishers, while the Top 5 Finishers for each of the courses will win Stio products. In addition to the races, the Big Sky Biggie event includes other activities, such as vendor booths, music, and food. The event is organized by the Big Sky Community Corporation and is supported by various local sponsors. It is a popular event among mountain bikers in Montana and the surrounding areas, and it attracts a large number of spectators as well.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

Recommended lodging for the Big Sky Biggie includes Big Sky Resort lodging options in the Mountain Village which is a 10 minute drive from race start/finish venue. A very convenient option is the Wilson Hotel which is just a block away from the venue while Bucks T-4 Lodge is another popular spot, and only a 10 minute drive to our venue. Those looking for a more home-like experience can check out Two Pines Properties for vacation rentals in the area. The town of Big Sky doesn’t have any conventional campgrounds for those that prefer to sleep under the stars. However, a few campgrounds are located on the Gallatin highway, both to the north and south of the Big Sky spur road, such as Red Cliff Campground and Moose Creek Flat Campground.

The culinary scene in Big Sky features a fusion of rustic mountain fare and sophisticated culinary offerings. Embracing both local ingredients and Montana traditions, restaurants in the area serve everything from wild game and trout dishes to upscale international cuisine. A few local favorites to check out include Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro, Blue Moon Bakery, and Horn and Cantle.

Big Sky, Montana, is a beautiful destination near Yellowstone National Park in the southwestern part of the state. It’s known for its stunning natural beauty, including snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and sprawling forests. In the summer, Big Sky is a paradise for outdoor sports enthusiasts, with a wide variety of activities to choose from.  Besides mountain biking, the area has dozens of trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging multi-day treks. Some of the most popular trails include the Beehive Basin Trail, the Ousel Falls Trail, and the Lava Lake Trail.  Water sports are also popular with the Gallatin River offering excellent opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and rafting. For more leisurely pace activities, the area boasts several world-class courses, including the Big Sky Resort and Yellowstone Club Golf Course.  Other popular summer activities in Big Sky include horseback riding, zip-lining, and rock climbing. And, of course, the area’s stunning natural beauty makes it a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Related Events

While Big Sky Biggie is the only event produced by its organizer, there are many other top mountain bike events in the broader Rocky Mountain area, including Pierre’s Hole 50/100 which takes place in Wyoming and is produced by NUE: National Ultra Endurance Race Seriesand is part of its premiere Series of events. The Silver Rush 50 MTB is also a top shelf event that takes place in Colorado and is part of the esteemed Leadville Race Series MTB, produced by LeadvilleRace Series and Life Time Events

For multi-sport endurance athletes looking for other events in the state of Montana and broader Rocky Mountain region, be sure to check out our full list of Strambecco Best in Class road, gravel and trail running events.



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